Escherichia coli autoinducer-2 uptake network does not display hysteretic behavior but AI-2 synthesis rate controls transient bifurcation

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Author list: Barrios AFG, Achenie LEK
Publisher: Elsevier: 12 months
Publication year: 2010
Volume number: 99
Issue number: 1
Start page: 17
End page: 26
Number of pages: 10
ISSN: 0303-2647
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)


Analysis of different architectures of quorum sensing networks has been the center of attention in recent times. The approach employs mathematical models to uncover the factors behind the dynamics. Quorum sensing networks mostly display autoregulation such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Vibrio cholerae. However, Escherichia coli autoinducer-2 (AI-2) synthesis does not display autoinduction (i.e. autoregulation). This and other features have raised questions about the actual function of AI-2 inside the cell. In this paper we propose a model for Isr operon regulation which explains or at least is consistent with AI-2 uptake in E. coli. The model was employed to determine the main factors that control the concentration of the signal and the uptake activation. We investigated deterministic and stochastic variants of the network model and we found no states that could lead to the typical bistability in quorum sensing systems. However, stochastic simulations predict a transient bifurcation (positively regulated by AI-2 synthesis) that could provide some advantage in adapting to new environments. LsrR inactivation was found to play a crucial role in the uptake activation compared to AI-2 synthesis, Isr transcription and AI-2 excretion. Our hypothesis is that positive regulation of the level of expression is the main factor in understanding the function of the Isr operon. This is in contrast to the conventionally held belief that the main factor is the onset of activation. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.


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Last updated on 2019-23-08 at 11:15